Idaho Facts

State Location Idaho Location In The US
State Abbreviation ID
Statehood July 3, 1890
State Capital Boise
State Size Total (Land + Water): 83,570 sq miles; Land Only: 82,747 sq miles
Number of Counties 44
State Population (2015)1,654,930
State Population Density20.0 people / square mile
Electoral Votes4
State Quarter Issue Date August 03, 2007
State Motto Esto perpetua (Let it be perpetual)
State Flower Syringa
State Tree Western white pine
State Bird Mountain Bluebird
Nickname Gem State
State Flag Idaho State Flag
State Gas Tax$0.3200 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$0.57 / Pack
Area Codes 208
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Boise (205,671)
Nampa (81,557)
Meridian (75,092)
Idaho Falls (56,813)
Pocatello (54,255)
Major Sports Teams None

Idaho Fun Facts

  • Idaho is a made-up word. When Congress was considering a name for present-day Colorado, lobbyist George Willing suggested the name "Idaho", claiming it was an Indian word that means "gem of the mountains." This name was not chosen for Colorado, but two years later it was used when the Idaho Territory was created in 1863.
  • American Falls is unique from most communities because the entire town was moved in the mid-1920s when the original American Falls Dam was constructed.
  • Hell's Canyon is the deepest gorge in America at 7,993 feet.
  • Idaho is called the "Gem State", because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in the state of Idaho. More than 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined from Idaho.
  • Idaho is the only state in the United States with an official State Raptor, peregrine falcon.
  • Soda Springs boasts the largest man-made geyser in the world.
  • Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities (India is the other).
  • The statehouse in Boise is geothermally heated from underground hot springs.
  • On July 17, 1955, the town of Arco became the first city in the world to be lit by atomic energy.
  • Idaho's Shonshone Falls is called the "Niagara of the West." It is 212 feet high—45 feet higher than Niagara Falls.

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